MNT READY TO FACE SWEDEN JANUARY 24 IN FIRST MATCH OF 2009;
TICKETS FOR MNT MATCH AGAINST MEXICO ON FEBRUARY 11 ON SALE JANUARY 28;
JEFF AGOOS AND JOY FAWCETT ELECTED INTO NATIONAL SOCCER HALL OF FAME
MNT READY TO START 2009 AGAINST SWEDEN: The U.S. Men's National Team heads toward the home stretch of preparations for the Jan. 24 game against Sweden at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The MNT convened Jan. 4 and has putting in double days for the majority of camp. The USA’s first match of 2009 kicks off at 5:30 p.m. PT (tickets), and the match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision. Fans can also follow the game live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Jason Hernandez has become the latest member of camp to be sidelined with injury after suffering a calf strain during the warm-up for the morning session Friday. Earlier in the week, Chad Marshall (knee) and Sean Franklin (lower abdominal) returned to their clubs for treatment after aggravating injuries that carried over from the MLS season which concluded in late 2008 and Geoff Cameron (hamstring) returned Houston for rehabilitation. Prior to the start of the January camp, defenders Clarence Goodson and Cory Gibbs withdrew from the roster. Defender Michael Parkhurst has been called in to replenish the U.S. defensive corps ahead of the game against Sweden while Sacha Kljestan has left the MNT camp in California and will train for a week with current Scottish Premier League champions Celtic F.C. in Glasgow, Scotland. After departing the camp on Thursday, Jan. 15, the midfielder is scheduled return to the national team on Jan. 22, two days before the game against Sweden.
U.S. MNT Training Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4): Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Will Hesmer (Columbus Crew), Troy Perkins (Valerenga IF), Matt Pickens (Colorado Rapids)
DEFENDERS (6): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Danny Califf (FC Midtjylland), Ugo Ihemelu (Colorado Rapids), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Chris Wingert (Real Salt Lake), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Brian Carroll (Columbus Crew), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), Jack Jewsbury (Kansas City Wizards), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), John Thorrington (Chicago Fire)
FORWARDS (4): Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), Charlie Davies (Hammarby IF), Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire)
MNT MATCH AGAINST MEXICO TICKETS WILL GO ON SALE JANUARY 28: Tickets for the United States’ FIFA World Cup qualifier against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, go on sale on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 12 p.m. ET. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Feb. 11, and will be televised live on ESPN2 HD and Univision. Tickets ranging in price levels from $48 to $250 go on sale to the public Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 12 p.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by phone at 800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout central Ohio (including Kroger), as well as the Crew Stadium ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Due to anticipated demand, tickets will be limited to four per purchase. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages which include a premium ticket, a custom made official U.S. national team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com. As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa® is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale will take place from Tuesday, Jan. 27, at 12 p.m. ET until Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 8 a.m. ET at ussoccer.com. Tickets will be limited to four per purchase. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply. The U.S. Men have been in camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., preparing to start off the year against Sweden on Jan. 24 at The Home Depot Center. The match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision beginning at 5:30 p.m. PT. Fans can also follow the game live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
U.S. Men’s National Team 2009 Schedule
|Jan. 24||Sweden||The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.||5:30 p.m. PT|
|Feb. 11||Mexico*||Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio||7 p.m. ET|
|March 28||El Salvador*||Away (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|April 1||Trinidad & Tobago*||Home (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|June 3||Costa Rica*||Away (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|June 6||Honduras*||Home (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|June 15||Italy #||Loftus Versfeld; Tshwane/Pretoria||8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m. ET|
|June 18||Brazil #||Loftus Versfeld; Tshwane/Pretoria||4 p.m. / 10 a.m. ET|
|June 21||Egypt #||Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace; Rustenburg||8:30 p.m. / 2:30 p.m. ET|
|July 3-26||CONCACAF Gold Cup||TBD||TBD|
|Aug. 12||Mexico*||Away (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|Sept. 5||El Salvador*||Home (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|Sept. 9||Trinidad & Tobago*||Away (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|Oct. 10||Honduras*||Away (Venue TBD)||TBD|
|Oct. 14||Costa Rica*||Home (Venue TBD)||TBD|
AGOOS AND FAWCETT ELECTED INTO NATIONAL SOCCER HALL OF FAME: Former U.S. Men's and Women's National Team standout defenders Jeff Agoos and Joy Fawcett have been elected into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Steve Baumann, Hall of Fame president, made the announcement live on Fox Soccer Channel from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Annual Convention in St. Louis, Mo. Agoos debuted for the U.S. Men's National Team in 1988, earning 134 caps between then and his retirement from international soccer in 2003, including a record 124 starts. His leadership and perseverance eventually earned him a spot on the U.S. roster for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where he featured in all three group matches as the U.S. advanced to the tournament quarterfinals. Fawcett retired from the U.S. Women's National Team in 2004, after earning 239 caps, two FIFA Women’s World Cup titles (1991 and 1999) and two Olympic Gold Medals (1996 and 2004). Known for her consistency and calm under fire, Fawcett played every minute of the 1991, 1995 and 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cups for the U.S. Both newly elected members will be inducted into the National Hall of Fame on Sunday, Aug. 2. Induction Weekend will take place at the Hall of Fame and Museum in Oneonta, N.Y.
U.S. WNT TO KICK OFF 2009 WITH CAMP AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has called in 25 players for a 17-day training camp that will kick off the team’s 2009 activity. The U.S. team will convene at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from Jan. 20-Feb. 4 in preparation for the annual Algarve Cup that will be held from March 4-11 in southern Portugal. After the completion of the camp, Sundhage will choose 18 players to make the annual pilgrimage to Portugal for the always competitive Algarve Cup, where the USA will face Denmark, Norway and Iceland in first round play. Germany, Sweden, Finland and China PR fill out the other group. It will be the 14th trip to the prestigious tournament for the U.S. WNT. U.S. defender Kate Markgraf, a veteran of six world championships for the USA, will not be joining the U.S. team in the near future as she is expecting her second child.
U.S. WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (7): Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Stephanie Cox (Los Angeles Sol), Marian Dalmy (Chicago Red Stars), Kendall Fletcher (Los Angeles Sol), Heather Mitts (Boston Breakers), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Tina DiMartino (FC Gold Pride), Tobin Heath (North Carolina), Carli Lloyd (Chicago Red Stars), Christine Nairn (Penn State), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Lindsay Tarpley (Chicago Red Stars), Kacey White (Sky Blue FC), Angie Woznuk (St. Louis Athletica)
FORWARDS (7): Tina Ellertson (St. Louis Athletica), Angela Hucles (Boston Breakers), Natasha Kai (Sky Blue FC), Ella Masar (Chicago Red Stars), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (Boston Breakers), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)
LAST MONTH FOR 2009 WERNER FRICKER BUILDER AWARD NOMINATIONS: Nominations are now being accepted for the 2009 U.S. Soccer Werner Fricker Builder Award, which is presented annually to an individual or individuals who have worked tirelessly in furthering the interest of the sport of soccer, without regard to personal recognition or advancement. The award, which was created in 2002 and is the greatest recognition bestowed by U.S. Soccer on its membership, is designed to honor those who have created or fostered programs that will outlast their own active involvement in the sport and that establish a lasting legacy in the history and structure of soccer in the United States. Interested persons can nominate individuals for the annual Werner Fricker Builder Award by downloading the form at ussoccer.com and mailing it to: U.S. Soccer, c/o the Werner Fricker Builder Award Committee, 1801 S. Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616 or emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must be postmarked by February 1, 2009 (download application).
– U.S. YOUTH NATIONAL TEAMS UPDATE –
U-20 AND U-17 MEN’S NATIONAL TEAMS LEARN OPPONENTS FOR CONCACAF CHAMPIONSHIPS: The U.S. Under-20 and Under-17 Men’s National Teams learned their group opponents for their respective CONCACAF Championships to be held this spring. The U-20 MNT will face Jamaica, El Salvador and either Honduras or St. Vincent & the Grenadines in Bacolet, Tobago. The CONCACAF U-20 Championship will be held from March 6-15 to determine the four teams from the region that will participate at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt from Sept. 25 – Oct. 17, 2009. The U-17 MNT was drawn into Group A and will face Canada, Cuba and Honduras in the first stage in Tiajuana, Mexico. The CONCACAF U-17 Championship, held from April 21-May 2, will send four teams to the 2009 FIFA Under-17 World Cup which will take place in Nigeria from Oct. 24-Nov. 15. Schedules for the events will be announced at a later date.
CONCACAF Under-20 Championship
|Group A||Group B|
|El Salvador||Costa Rica|
|Honduras / St. Vincent & the Grenadines||Trinidad & Tobago|
CONCACAF Under-17 Championship
|Group A||Group B|
|Honduras||Trinidad & Tobago|
YOUTH WOMEN BEGIN 2009 WITH SUPER-CAMPS IN CALIFORNIA AND FLORIDA: Four U.S. Women’s Youth National Teams will kick off 2009 with two 48-player super-camps at the end of January. Coming off an extremely successful 2008 in which the USA won the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile and finished second at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, the youth programs now begin a new cycle as the U.S. Under-20s and Under-18s combine for a training camp in Chula Vista, Calif., from Jan. 25-Feb. 1 while the U.S. Under-17s and Under-15s combine for a camp in Sunrise, Fla., from Jan. 28-Feb. 5. The combination of the four programs into two training camps will give the coaches a chance to evaluate a large number of players in each age group as the teams begin their runs to what will hopefully culminate in the 2010 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany and the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad & Tobago. The U-20 tournament will be for players born on or after Jan. 1, 1990, while the 2010 U-17 Women’s World Cup will be restricted to players born on or after Jan. 1, 1993.
U.S. U-20 & U-18 WNT Super-Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (7): Bianca Henniger (Los Gatos, Calif.), Alexa Gaul (Naperville, Ill.), Jillian Mastroianni (Durham, Conn.), Emily Oliver (Flossmoor, Ill.), Anna Sieloff (Troy, Mich.), Taylor Vancil (South Elgin, Ill.), Kelsey Wys (Coral Springs, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (12): Tori Allen (Stafford, Va.), Amber Brooks (New Hope, Pa.), Danielle Brunache (Belmont, Calif.), Cloee Colohan (West Point, Utah), Crystal Dunn (Rockville Centre, N.Y.), Alexis Harris (Plano, Texas), Meagan Morris (Montclair, N.J.), Megan Oyster (Naperville, Ill.), Mollie Pathman (Durham, N.C.), Bailey Powell (Fayetteville, Ga.), Rachel Quon (Lake Forest, Ill.), Whitney Sharpe (West Des Moines, Iowa)
MIDFIELDERS (16): Zakiya Bywaters (Las Vegas, Nev.), Chelsea Cline (Fairbault, Minn.), Elizabeth Eddy (Costa Mesa, Calif.), Danielle Hubka (Strongsville, Ohio), Olivia Klei (Pleasanton, Calif.), Mandy Laddish (Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Camille Levin (Newport Coast, Calif.), Kristie Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Samantha Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Jazmin Ponce (Lawndale, Calif.), Jenna Richmond (Centerville, Va.), Casey Short (Naperville, Ill.), Claire Stachel (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Wendy Travis (Cary, N.C.), Erika Tymrak (Bradenton, Fla.), Allie Vernon (Homer Glen, Ill.)
FORWARDS (13): Lauren Alwine (Elizabethtown, Pa.), Hayley Brock (Acton, Mass.), Kelly Cobb (Chugiak, Alaska), Tani Costa (Honolulu, Hawaii), Vicki DiMartino (Massapequa, N.Y.), Maya Hayes (West Orange, N.J.), Courtney Jones (Danville, Calif.), Tiffany McCarty (Laurel, Md.), Kealia Ohai (Draper, Utah), Alev Perusse (Eagle River, Alaska), Toni Pressley (Melbourne, Fla.), Chioma Ubogagu (Coppel, Texas), Courtney Verloo (Tualatin, Ore.)
U.S. U-17 & U-15 WNT Super-Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (6): Britt Eckerstrom (Boyds, Md.), Bryane Heaberlin (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Megan Kufeld (Fremont, Calif.), Molly Poletto (Englewood, Colo.), Katelyn Rowland (Vacaville, Calif.), Abby Smith (Dallas, Texas)
DEFENDERS (14): Stephanie Amack (Danville, Calif.), Melissa Bomberger (Dublin, Ohio), Olivia Brannon (Troy, Mich.), Whitney Church (Ashburn, Va.), Miranda Cornejo (Vista, Calif.), Abby Dahlkemper (Menlo Park, Calif.), Miranda Freeman (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), Laure Liedle (San Diego, Calif.), Megan Marsack (Macomb, Mich.), Sarah Molina (Rocky River, Ohio), Rachel Price (Melbourne Beach, Fla.), Maya Theuer (Carlsbad, Calif.), Tera Trujillo (Valencia, Calif.), Brittany Von Rueden (Mequon, Wis.)
MIDFIELDERS (19): Morgan Andrews (Milford, N.H.), Morgan Brian (St. Simons Island, Ga.), Meg Cassells-Hamby (Winter Park, Fla.), Kaysie Clark (Liberty, Mo.), Gabby Cuevas (Wayne, N.J.), Alexandra Doll (Bethesda, Md.), Makenzy Doniak (Chino Hills, Calif.), Caprice Dydasco (Honolulu, Hawaii), Isabel Farrell (Bellevue, Wash.), Jenna Gibney (Wayne, N.J.), Jessica Lee (Tenafly, N.J.), Indiana Mead (Boulder City, Nev.), Ashley Meier (Strongsville, Ohio), Christina Murillo (Ojai, Calif.), Cari Roccaro (East Islip, N.Y.), Dana Rosney (Philadelphia, Pa.), Ashley Spivey (Baltimore, Md.), Kaili Torres (Orange Park, Fla.), Haley Washburn (Folsom, Calif.)
FORWARDS (9): Mariana Galvan (San Jose, Calif.), Jocelyn Jeffers (Perio, Ariz.), Cate Parchinski (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Corey Persson (Danvers, Mass.), Courtney Proctor (Santa Clarita, Calif.), Courtney Raetzman (Elk Grove, Ill.), Brittany Ratcliffe (Franklin Township, N.J.), Olivia Schultz (Hopkins, Minn.), Taylor Smith (Fort Worth, Texas)
U-18 MNT TAKES GOLD AT AUSTRALIAN YOUTH OLYMPIC FESTIVAL: The U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team took gold at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival with a dominating 5-0 victory against the hosts. Combined with a 1-1 draw against Chile in their tournament opener and an astounding 14-0 win over China U-17s, the U.S. won the four-team round robin tournament. Needing a win to take the gold, the Americans responded to the pressure early, with three first half goals paving the way. In the 20th minute, Will Bates won the ball from a defender and finished the play with a shot that sailed high into the net. Dillon Powers received the ball with his back to goal 13 minutes later, and laid the ball off for Miles Byass. Byass hit a one-timer to the right of Australian goalkeeper Lucas Andreucci to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead. Bates scored his second of the day minutes before halftime, this time pouncing on a poor clearance from the Australia defense and hit a volley that sailed into the net, giving the U.S. a 3-0 halftime lead. Six minutes after the break, an individual effort from Jose Altamirano led to the Americans' fourth goal. He dribbled around the last Australian defender and struck the ball high into the net from just inside the penalty area. Hasani Sinclair rounded out the scoring by converting an 87th minute penalty kick. Zac MacMath was called upon to make just two saves to earn the shutout. U.S. head coach Mike Matkovich is 2-0-1 in his international coaching career, winning the championship of his first international tournament.
U-18 MNT Results
|Date||Opponent||Result||U.S. Goal Scorer(s)|
|Jan. 15||Chile||1-1 T||Okugo|
|Jan. 16||China PR||14-0 W||Jahn (5), Altamirano (2), Sinclair (2), Bates, Okugo, Powers, Woodberry, Sarkodie|
|Jan. 18||Australia||5-0 W||Bates (2), Byass, Altamirano, Sinclair|
RONGEN NAMES 19 PLAYERS TO TRAVEL TO TRINIDAD & TOBAGO AS PREPARATION FOR CONCACAF CHAMPIONSHIP: U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Thomas Rongen has named 19 players who will travel to Trinidad & Tobago from Jan. 18-24 as part of preparation for the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in March. The CONCACAF U-20 Championship will be held in Macoya, Trinidad and Bacolet, Tobago from March 4-16. The U.S. will acclimate to both islands while staying and training in facilities in and around both host cities during their upcoming trip. A combination of professional, collegiate and youth players will travel to Trinidad on Jan. 18 and scrimmage the T&T Under-17 MNT before moving on to the island of Tobago. The team will continue training in Tobago through Jan. 24.
U.S. U-20 MNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Sean Johnson (Lilburn, Ga.; Central Florida), Brian Perk (Rancho Santa Margarita; UCLA)
DEFENDERS (6): Kyle Davies (Danville, Calif.; Southampton FC), Connor Lade (Convent Station, N.J.; St. John’s), Kofi Opare (Niagra Falls, Ontario; St. Catharine’s Concord), Chris Taylor (Edmond, Okla.; Tulsa), Anthony Wallace (St. Petersburg, Fla.; FC Dallas), Marcus Watson (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Los Angeles Galaxy Academy)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Richard Balchan (Carmel, Ind.; Indiana), Tony Cascio (Gilbert, Ariz.; Connecticut), Danny Cruz (Glendale, Ariz.; Houston Dynamo), Dilly Duka (Montville, N.J.; Rutgers), Jared Jeffrey (Richardson, Texas; Club Brugge), Aaron Maund (Dorchester, Mass.; Notre Dame), Brek Shea (College Station, Texas; FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (4): Will Bruin (Carmel, Ind.; Indiana), Peri Marosevic (Rockford, Ill.; FC Dallas), Tony Taylor (Jacksonville, Fla.; Jacksonville), Casey Townsend (Traverse City, Mich.; Maryland)
– AROUND THE SOCCER NATION –
U.S. SOCCER AND ENYYSA TO OFFER “C”LICENSE COURSE IN SPANISH: The U.S. Soccer Federation Coaching Department, in conjunction with the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association, will offer a National “C” License Course from March 18-22 and 26-29, conducted in Spanish. The nine-day course will take place at Flushing Meadows Corona Park Sports complex in Corona, Queens. U.S. Soccer National Instructors Juan Carlos Michia, Rene Miramontes, Roberto Lopez and Alfonso Mondelo will guide participants through 90 hours of class time. Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) will coordinate the Spanish-language “C” License Course. Interested coaches can call (516) 766-0849 or (718) 545-4125, or visit www.enysoccer.com for more information. Space in the course is limited and coaches are encouraged to apply early. To register, interested coaches should follow the following link: http://www.enysoccer.com/Coaches/index_E.html.
US YOUTH SOCCER ANNOUNCES WILLIAM J. GOAZIOU SCHOLARSHIP: US Youth Soccer has announced that it will award two, one-time $1,000 scholarships in 2009 in honor of late U.S. Soccer treasurer William J. Goaziou. The scholarships will be awarded based on community service and giving back to the game of soccer. Deadline for submitting applications is March 15, 2009. More information, including eligibility requirements and scholarship application are available at www.usyouthsoccer.org.
ACCREDITATION FOR CONFEDERATIONS CUP TO START ON FEB. 2: The dates for the accreditation process for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 have been changed and will now start on Feb. 2, 2009 (instead of Jan. 5) via the FIFA Media Channel. The new deadline for accreditation applications is Feb. 22. The FIFA Confederations Cup, also known as the “Festival of Champions,” will be the first major test on the way to the 2010 FIFA World Cup and will be staged at venues in four cities: Johannesburg, Tshwane/Pretoria, Rustenburg and Mangaung/Bloemfontein. The U.S. has been drawn into Group B of the tournament, which will be held from June 14-28. Bob Bradley’s team will take on Italy, Brazil and Egypt. The other group includes Spain, New Zealand, Iraq and host South Africa. Successful applicants will be notified and provided with further information in due course. All applications are subject to confirmation. International applicants are responsible for their own visas. Media representatives who have not already registered for the FIFA Media Channel are requested to do so at http://media.fifa.com as early as possible. The FIFA Media Channel is a registration-only area on www.FIFA.com providing media professionals with tailored content. Only registered individuals may apply for accreditation to FIFA events.
COACHESNET OFFERS TRIP TO ARGENTINA: As part of the U.S. Soccer’s Coaching Department’s dedication to providing unique coaching opportunities to its members, CoachesNet is offering an educational trip from March 10-16, 2009, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Registration also includes round-trip airfare from Miami International Airport, meals and four-star accommodations. Registration is open to all coaches and current U.S. Soccer “A” licensed coaches will earn eight (8) Continuing Education Units for their participation. CoachesNet caught up with U.S. Soccer U-17 scout and National Staff Coach Juan Carlos Michia to discuss the trip to Buenos Aires. Michia, a native of Argentina, discusses plans for the trip, how soccer is a way of life in Argentina and what a coach can expect during the week.
TICKETS ON SALE FOR FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP SOUTH AFRICA 2009: Tickets are on sale for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 that will be held June 14-28 in South Africa. Fans are able to apply for tickets by registering through fifa.com in order to have access to purchase tickets for all of the USA’s matches in the tournament. For a list of frequently asked questions, click here. The eight-team competition showcases confederation champions from across the world, and also provides a glimpse of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ hosts South Africa. The United States has been drawn into a powerful Group B along with reigning world champions Italy, five-time World Cup winners Brazil, and reigning African Cup of Nations winners Egypt for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 that will be played from June 14-28, 2009, in South Africa. The U.S. kicks off action against Italy on June 15 at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane/Pretoria, and then faces Brazil on June 18 in the same venue. The United States finishes group play on June 21 against Egypt at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
EVEN PELLERUD TAKES CHARGE OF WOMEN'S FOOTBALL IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Even Pellerud because the director of the Women's Football Development Program for Trinidad & Tobago last week. Pellerud, 55, previously served as women's technical director since 2000, where he lead the team to a silver medal at the 2002 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup and fourth place at the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup. He also led Norway to the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup title and to a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Games.
*** CENTER CIRCLE SPOTLIGHT ***
PEAK PERFORMER: Former Akron striker Steve Zakuani and former UCLA forward Amy Rodriguez earn Peak Performer honors for being the first players picked in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft and Inaugural Women’s Pro Soccer draft, respectively. Zakuani was the first draft pick in Seattle Sounders FC history while Rodriguez was the first player picked by the Boston Breakers.
MARQUEE MATCHUP: The U.S. Men’s National Team kicks off 2009 against Sweden on Saturday, Jan. 24, at 5:30 p.m. PT at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Fans can watch the match live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision, or follow along on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
SOCCER SHOCKER: Who would have thought Nomar Garciaparra would defeat wife Mia Hamm at her own game? That was the case Saturday, Jan. 17, when Nomar United defeated FC Mia 8-7 in the Second Annual Celebrity Soccer Challenge at The Home Depot Center. Garciaparra even scored the game-winner in overtime on a breakaway. The event raised nearly $200,000 for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Mia Hamm Foundation and registered more than 200 people to the National Marrow Donor Program Registry. The real winners, of course, are the people who will be helped by the money and awareness raised by the event itself.
QUOTABLE: “Because it is important for U.S. Soccer to introduce its members to what other countries are doing and how they go about training and developing players. Argentina is one of the top soccer countries in the world and this is a great opportunity for coaches to learn from some of the best coaches.”
- U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Scout and National Staff Coach Juan Carlos Michia explains the importance of U.S. Soccer’s Coaching Department is planning an educational trip to Argentina (read more).